Who are you targeting with your mailing list?

  • I've got my postcards. I need a mailing list.

    This is a source of nail-biting gut-clawing analysis-paralysis-inducing anxiety for me.

    Mostly because I have NO idea who I'm supposed to be targeting.


    I'm curious about a couple of things.

    1. Who are you targeting with you postcards? Art directors? Editors? Are you just spamming every single department at major publishing houses? Broadcasting postcard confetti at conferences?

    2. What's your process for finding these people? Browsing book stores? Trawling twitter? Investigating instagram? I'm certain people have methods.

    Thanks guys! This is one of those major personal hurdles for me and any and all input is appreciated 🙂

  • Moderator

    I have been using The Book from SCBWI. I research to make sure it’s a good fit and that the information in the Book is accurate (frequently it is not current) then depending on the submission guidelines on the website I send either an email or postcard. Unfortunately it’s hard to nail down the names of art directors so I just label my emails as illustrator submission or mail to the “art director”. This may hinder my reception but I don’t know. I put a name down if I can find the right ones. I’ve exhausted the Books list so I am scouting the internet now for publishers that are accepting submissions. I have a huge list that I found. I’ll link it here next time
    I’m on the puter. 😬 It’s tedious and time consuming and I hate it. 😝😜

    1. editors
    • I get the contacts via book fair
    • I look for publishers and try to find some contacts for illustrators or authors
    • we in Germany have XING, it is simmilar to LinkedIn, there are many of the editors with their job and I take their name and contact them directly.

  • I feel your pain, source of anxiety for me too.

    I can share what I've done and plan to do. I haven't sent out postcards yet but have sent email blast to publishers with 8 to 10 images, funnily enough I got out of possibly 100 emails sent out, I recieved around 15 responses (rejections) some positive comments. A year and a half after sending an email to and Irish publisher, I received an email, out of the blue, asking me to submit samples artwork for a project, they liked it and I Just finished up the Job, first Children's book for me and through a cold email.

    I'm Irish myself (working out of Japan) so I was targeting Ireland and the UK. I purchased the 'Childrens's writers and Artist's Yearbook' which has a directory of agents and publishers and a few lines of their general style they do which was helpful. I also joined and purchased directories from the Association of Illustrators in the UK. I made my way through the lists researching each one painstakingly making notes of where I thought my type of work could fit and compiled a list with dream clients at the top and the worked from the bottom up. I plan on sending out postcards soon.

    There is a video in the SVS class regarding mailers and postcards and about sourcing addresses etc. title is how to get freelance work. I remember watching and thinking there was really good info in there, like do you send multiple postcards to one house etc. I sent multiple emails to one publishing house, not sure if that was a good idea. I got a lovely response from Random House Art Director saying she would show her collegues my work and was reading books and I may fit with one of them, never heard and thing back after that but that response had me floating haha.

    Best of luck

  • @burvantill Have you tried LinkedIn? Thats how I got a lot of names for places that didn't list them - and a few addresses too! If you search for a publisher and click on "people" on their page it gives you a list of people on LinkedIn that say they work for the company, their title, and often times the city they live in (which can be helpful when you notice the address you have is for an office in New York but all the art directors seem to live in Boston).

    Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 8.38.21 AM.png

    There's a workforce breakdown and if you click the Next one or two times theres one that breaks it down by "what they do." If you choose "art and design you'll be able to filter all the art directors and designers.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 8.44.37 AM.png


    You can also go to the "about" tab and scroll to the bottom to see if they have an office address listed.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 8.49.49 AM.png

  • Thanks everyone! This helps 🙂

  • Moderator

    @Phil-Cullen I watched that video today.and came to the conclusion that my list is entirely too short. 😝.
    Thankyou for mentioning it, I learned a lot today. 🙂

  • Moderator

    @StudioLooong wow thank you! 😃. I learned a lot today from the video on how to get freelance work. Linked in was one of the suggestions. I thought I was doing okay, turns out NOT. 😂. My list is way too short and not nearly enough names. I’m sooooo grateful for svs. The school and my art friends here in the forum. You all rock!💛

  • @burvantill Yea it's a great video, lots of great info to unpack. My list is way too short also.

  • Pro SVS OG

    @StudioLooong thanks so much, that is amesome, although all that info doesn't come up for me. Do you pay something/membership to linked in to have more information?

  • Pro SVS OG

    I go to my favorite picture books that I feel fit with my style and sometimes the Art Director is listed on the jacket, if not I do a little research and try and find the Art Director who worked on that book and target hem-Good Luck

  • @lmrush I don't pay for premium. It may have to do with people i'm connected with. It looks to me like a lot of the people in my search results are 3rd level connections. But im not super sure how it works.

  • Omg why didn’t i think of using linked in like that before!

  • SVS OG

    @StudioLooong this is very helpful!❤❤❤

  • @StudioLooong How did you make connections? Do you actually know the people you're connecting with on linkedin, or are you simply sending out connection requests?

    Forgive my ignorance this is all very new to me :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_cold_sweat:

  • @Braden-Hallett no, mostly just people I went to college with, worked with, or talked with at conferences. Im connected to less than 300 people. Maybe being a graphic designer helps because a lot of my professional connections may know someone who's a designer in publishing who would be connected with more people in publishing? I wouldn't call myself a linkedin expert either...

  • Pro SVS OG

    @StudioLooong thank you!

  • @Braden-Hallett and @StudioLooong THIS is exactly why I come to the forum. Thank you for asking (and responding) to all the right questions. Also, it's helpful to not feel so alone in the journey

  • @StudioLooong Cool cool. Looks like linedin is great if you already have connections :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_closed_eyes: I'm gonna have to start that with illustrators I meet.

    Maybe we should start a little SVS linkedin circle and branch out

  • @Braden-Hallett I'd be happy to connect with you and any other SVS-ers! Hopefully we can all help to expand eachother's networks! 🙂 https://www.linkedin.com/in/teackerman/

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